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Sanibel, Lee County to join ’24 Hours of Reality’

By Staff | Oct 6, 2020

To the editor:

This summer, in preparation for The Climate Reality Project’s “24 Hours of Reality,” there was a huge world-wide training with important environmental issues that impact Florida with 10,000 participants who want to help solve these issues in their countries. Florida was well-represented; in fact, it had the most members of any state. There was a lot of good-natured competition between the Florida chapters for numbers. It was an amazing experience to be with so many people who care about these issues.

There was a lot of new information on our changing climate, including rising sea levels, much stronger storms and the effects of increased heat on all living systems. The news is dire and, even though some people still think they will be dead before it all happens, that is not the case. Just look at current events. Miami is experiencing saltwater intrusion in its wells, and some have been moved west. I noticed that there was a report that the wastewater systems and weirs held up on Sanibel during our deluge on the weekend of Sept. 12. That is great news, but with rising sea levels and more intense storms that linger longer, such as Dorian in the Bahamas, it will cost us a lot of money to get climate ready.

All of our infrastructure is threatened because it was not built for these kind of extreme weather events. Already Miami is considering building a sea wall that will cost several billion dollars. Mitigating the effects of climate change will be financially untenable if we continue to wait. What really scared me was the thought of all the Superfund sites that can contaminate our water and ground in a massive hurricane. We have 95 in Florida alone. But, we do have solutions and actions we can take to change this trajectory right now.

On Oct. 10 at 4 p.m. and Oct. 11 at 2 p.m., Sanibel and Lee County will host two presentations for “24 Hours of Climate Reality” to which everyone is invited. We will share the latest information on climate change and its effects on our economy, health, food and water supply, wildlife and climate justice, as well as lots of good news on renewable energy and actions we can all incorporate into our lives. Come be a part of a world-wide event. Anyone who comes will get to plant a tree anywhere they want, and you won’t have to even dig the hole! Sign up for free at climatereality.leecountychapter@gmail.com for the Zoom link.

Ariel Hoover

Chair

Lee County Chapter